Review: Dreamless

Author: Josephine Angelini
Date of Publication: May 29 2012
Pages: 487
Source: Library
Series: Starcrossed #2

Can true love be forgotten?

As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies' cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen's sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.


It started out at a crawl. There was minimal emotional connection and minimal discernible plot. That was just a setup. The ball finally got rolling, and Dreamless by Josephine Angelini is another riveting read.

I began the story completely lost. It's been a while since I read Starcrossed and I scoured the internet for some kind of summary of the first book in the series. Alas, I didn't get it, but some Wiki's and spoilers in reviews helped me catch up. At that point, I was not so seriously wondering how good Dreamless would be because so much of the beginning was focused on the repercussions of Starcrossed.

The beginning was extremely slow. It was basically Helen trapped in a million different nightmares and staying away from Lucas. Not much really happened beyond that, and I was too bored to be really into Helen. It wasn't until Orion entered the story that Dreamless sparkled.

Maybe I shouldn't fall for Orion, but I can't help it. He's sweet and loyal, and has had a miserable life. He's trustworthy and lighthearted too. He somehow always made Helen smile and brought some levity to the story. I could be sad that there is a love triangle in Dreamless, but it's extremely significant to the plot without actually being the plot. That's the type of love triangle I can excuse.

After Orion's entrance into the story, everything picked up. The plot becomes compelling and like Helen, I needed to figure out what is going on. The world building increased too, and learning about different powers and subplots was fun. This series was pitched as Percy Jackson for teenage girls, and while the world building isn't as good as Percy Jackson in my opinion, it's still pretty damn compelling. The idea of Scions and Helen of Troy is just genuinely cool.

By the end, I was hooked. I'm starting to recognize a pattern in Angelini's writing, and I think my point is don't be discouraged by the beginning because somehow, at some point everything clicks and the story becomes good. In fact, I want the sequel right now because I need to know what happens next.

The ending is pretty crazy. It's all over the place and it sets up the next book very nicely. Throughout Dreamless, I managed to like the characters. My complaint is that I don't know how much I actually care for them, versus the story.  I know I like most of the characters, but beyond Orion and maybe Helen, would I really mind if any one of them died?

You may notice that I've pretty much omitted Lucas from this review. I don't hate him in any way. This isn't me picking Team Orion and leaving Lucas alone, because frankly, there's only one fit for Helen. What I didn't like was that there was so little development of Lucas and Helen's relationship. They were already in love with one another and dealing with issues, which meant Lucas was very rarely around while Orion was. I got to know Orion better because (and this is awful but I have book amnesia okay!) I couldn't remember why I was supposed to like Lucas so much. It was like because he had already proven himself to Helen, there wasn't that much focus on why the two liked each other which is fine, because their relationship doesn't need to start over because it's a new book, but I personally found it hard to connect with.

I tried to remain balanced in this review, but clearly I enjoyed Dreamless. It was an extremely entertaining read.



  1. Hm. Good to know, about Angelini's writing, because we've only read the opening pages of STARCROSSED and couldn't quite understand the hype. But it makes sense that if she's got a good premise ("Percy Jackson for girls," although we hate all the gender implications of that) and her writing/plot picks up, then maybe we just didn't give the book enough of a chance.

    1. You're right about that, it was a direct quote used by the agent though. Hm.

      I think the thing about Angelini is that you can't go into her books by looking at the trees. At least for me, you have to get into the book for a while and then all of a sudden everything makes sense. The details aren't really that compelling but the ensemble of everything just manages to become a good story. It's really not an easy type of read to review because there are parts of it that are one star worthy (because it's SO SLOW) but by the end, I can't help being exhilarated by the story. Anyway, I'm hoping Goddess is an improvement and is more of a consistently good read.


  2. I fell hard for Orion so this was kind of tricky for me because I knew Helen liked (the dull) Lucas. But Orion is so much more interesting!

    1. I agree. I know who Helen wants, but Orion is so much better! He jokes around and has lived a pretty crappy life, but he's a good guy. I love reading about him more than Lucas. Sigh.



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